I'm hoping this McDonald’s in Florence was just for the tourists. Doug caught me coming out of it but I only used the restroom---the same use I find for them in the States.
My topic to take my mind off visas this week is an impression I’m getting from blogs and people I know in Italy that there are a lot of differences between locations. I've heard that it’s all about the surface appearances in Italy and it’s hard to make Italian friends in the north. We try to generalize to make sense of things but I think it only makes us more confused. I haven’t found Italians any more surface oriented than any other people I know--another generalization. In fact, so far I haven’t noticed any status barriers as you might find in the US, but I’ve mostly been in the south. I worry about changes that may be coming--either in the culture or my perception of it. Already folks are saying that you have to go south to see the “real Italy” which I take to mean the Italy of the past. I find that disturbing. I don’t want the culture I already love to change although I know my current perceptions will change--that's part of the adventure.
I'd like to be able to continue to light a candle in a church for all the souls I miss. I love doing this because I can be alone and can really feel connected. Will it all be electric soon?
I don’t want to be able to shop during pausa and I want to be able to sit for hours after passeggiata in a cafe and never be rushed for economic reasons (when I’m in the mood--it takes re-acclimation for me to be ready to sit that long). These are just some of the things I love that I don’t know how time will change. I’ve never thought that all change is good. We humans need to learn to save the richness we have and add to it rather than change everything without a thought...